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International Indexed &Referred Research Journal, May, 2012. ISSN- 0975-3486, RNI-RAJBIL 2009/30097;VoL.III *ISSUE-32
Research PaperCommerce
May, 2012
The word 'feminism' itself originated from
the French word feminize in the nineteenth century,
either as a medical term to describe the feminization
of male body, or to describe women with masculine
traits. When this term used in the United States in
the early part of the twentieth century it was only
used to refer to one group of women: namely that
group which asserted the uniqueness of women, the
mystical experience of motherhood and women's spe-
cial purity (Jagger 1883:5). It soon became under-
stood to denote a political stance of someone com-
mitted to changing the social position of women.
There is no specific abstract definition of feminism
applicable to all women at all times. The definition
thus can and does change because feminism is based
on historically and culturally concrete realities and
levels of consciousness, perceptions and actions.
According to one feminism "it is an aware-
ness of women's oppression and exploitation in soci-
ety, at the place of work and within the family, and
conscious action to change this situation." The other
definition is a little more explicit-" Feminism is an
awareness of patriarchal control, exploitation and
oppression at the material and ideological levels of
women's labor, fertility and sexuality, in the family,
at the place of work and in society in general, and
conscious action by men and women to transform
the present situation." Feminism speaks with many
voices. As it touches all aspects of our social and per-
sonal lives.. The main strands of feminism- are lib-
Ecofeminism: Issues and Areas
* Prof. Kamble B. P.
* Dept. of Commerce, Elphinstone College, Mumbai-
Ecofeminism was a term originally coined by Francois d'Eaubonne in 1974. Ecofeminism is t he theory which seeks to end all
forms of oppression. It does so by highlighting the interconnection between the dominations of humans by race, gender, and
class, on the one hand, and the dominations of the earth, on the other.
Ecofeminism is the social and political movement that regards the oppression of women and nature as interconnected. It is
one of the few movement and analysis that actually connects to movements. Ecofeminists argue that a relationship exists
between the oppression of women and the degradation of nature, and explore the intersectionality between sexism, the domi-
nation of nature, racism, specialism, and other characteristics of social inequality. This fund philosophical strand of environ-
ment movement in India is advocated by Vandana Shiva.
Key words: [Feminism, Ecofeminism, Ecology, Movement, sustainable development.]
eral, radical, socialist feminism and ecofeminism.
The Roots of Ecofeminism: Rachel Carson in her
book 'The silent spring' in 1962 warned Americans
that unless they began to take care of their environ-
ment then," all mans assaults upon the environment
(including) the contamination of air, earth, rivers and
sea with dangerous and even lethal materials. (will
undoubtedly) shatter or alter the very material -- upon
which the shape of the future depends." As ecologi-
cal concerns about global warming, ozone depletion,
waste disposal, animal farming, endangered species,
energy conservation, and wilderness preservation
grew, an environmental movement took hold in the
United Status and throughout the World.
The term 'ecofeminism' is consisting of two
words 'Eco' and Feminism. Women and nature's con-
nections are the backbone of feminism. Ecofeminism
is the social and political movement that regards the
oppression of women and nature as interconnected.
The term 'ecofeminism' was coined by French femi-
nist Francoise d'Eaubonne in 1974. And further de-
veloped by Ynestra King in 1976, and gained mo-
mentum as an ideology in the late seventies.
Ecofeminism is hard to define because there are so
many varieties of ecofeminism, influenced by differ-
ent feminisms. According to Ynestra King
"Ecofeminism is about connectedness and wholeness
of theory and practice -it sees the devastation of
mother earth and human beings by the corporate
warriors as feminist concern." In this definition 'cor-
porate warriors' word is important because it is used
International Indexed &Referred Research Journal, May, 2012. ISSN- 0975-3486, RNI-RAJBIL 2009/30097;VoL.III *ISSUE-32
as 'patriarchal or 'dominant' factor who demolishing
the nature, forest, land and women. Vandana Shiva
in her book, 'Ecofeminism' coauthored with Marie
Mies says that, women are very close to nature than.
As women's birth, monthly cycle, pregnancy women's
consciousness brings women close to nature. As well
as women and nature are historically, culturally and
biologically reproductive. So they are intimate con-
tact and interdependent with each other.
In sustaining the agriculture based on main-
taining the integrity and the fertility of the soil women
have played a major productive role, particularly in
work linked to maintaining the food cycle. In feed-
ing animals from trees or crop by products, in nur-
turing cows and animals, in composting and fertiliz-
ing with organic manure, the critical work of main-
taining ecological cycles was done by women, in part-
nership with land, trees and with animal and men.
Nature provides food for family, cattle's and soils, in
the form of vegetables, herbs, ferms, mushroom, fod-
der and humus. As women can give health and
strength to their children, cattle's and mother earth
which they perceive as an extension of human fam-
Women's productivity in the sustaining of
life is based on nature's productivity. Women are tra-
ditional natural scientist: She is sylviculturalist, ag-
riculturalist and water managers. Women are do-
mestic cultivator. In food provisioning: Women role
are as food producers and processors. Natural seed
selector and preserver: To avoid the 'terminator' seed
Women uses the natural seed from forty centuries
.Women maintaining ecological cycle of water, land
and forest. Women are soil scientist and plant breeder.
1. Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, Ecofeminism (London: Zed
Books, 1994); Rita Arditti et.al.(eds)
2. Maria Mies, Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale
(London: Zed Books, 1986)
3. Vandana Shiva, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Develop-
ment (London: Zed Books, 1989 See Besty Hartmann, Reproduc-
tive Right and Wrongs (NewY ork:Harper, 1987)
4. Rosalie Bertell, The Re-greening of the planet' in Vandana Shiva
(ed.), Close to Home (Philadelphia: New Society Publisher, 1994).
5. Adapted from Ariel Salleh, Living with Nature: Reciprocity or
Control' in R. and J. Engel (eds.), Ethics of Environment and De-
velopment (London: Pinter, 1990)
6. Griffin, reprinted in Made From This Earth (London: Women's
press, 1982),